Mozilla provides Social API insight

Mozilla recently released its Social API, along with a preview of social integration with Facebook Messenger for Firefox. The project is designed to enable users to more easily get involved socially with websites, no matter where they are on the web.

Although the technology is designed to be open and extensible, and also simple to disable entirely if you don’t need it, questions have been raised regarding the Social API’s current Facebook focus and Firefox’s trend towards adding features rather than streamlining.

.net spoke to Johnathan Nightingale, VP Firefox Engineering, about these concerns and what we can expect from the Social API in the future.

.net: How does the Social API benefit the open web and web users? Isn't it just hooking into proprietary tech owned by massive corporations?
Nightingale: The Social API was built for users first. We provide a way for the social sites people are already using to integrate more deeply with their browser because we see how much our users already interweave their social activity into their online lives. The Social API is not specific to any particular provider; it is documented and interoperable, built for the open web like everything we do at Mozilla. The open web is not anti-corporate, as long as users have control and choice over their online experience.

.net: How rapidly do you intend to move beyond just Facebook?
Nightingale: We need to build a good user experience around managing multiple providers before we can start enabling others. Once that's done, it's just a question of finding other services that understand what we're trying to build, and who want to create something excellent for our shared users. Some of those conversations are already starting to happen.

Our design and engineering teams are already building support for multiple services. The work is still in its early days, and will evolve as we get prototypes out to our community of Nightly testers.

.net: Firefox was once known for speed and its streamlined nature, yet this addition resembles Flock. Are you not concerned about bloat?
Nightingale: We are more focused than ever before on performance, and have expanded that work to include both technical benchmark performance and the human performance of our users. The social integration features in Firefox help people stay connected through sites they would otherwise have opened in a tab, so the real world performance impacts are likely to be negligible or even positive; we'll continue to measure it carefully. The human performance benefits of having your social sites available at a glance are harder to measure, but early reports from our users are that they, too, are positive.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of seven full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Abi Le Guilcher, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.